Former F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone told Aston Martin to sign Vettel

• Sebastian Vettel will race for Aston Martin in 2021.

• Bernie Ecclestone says he encouraged the team to sign Vettel.

• Vettel is experiencing a difficult 2020 with Ferrari.

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Bernie Ecclestone has revealed that he helped Sebastian Vettel to secure a seat at Aston Martin for 2021.

The pair have long been friends and backgammon partners, with former Formula 1 supremo Ecclestone revealing on his 90th birthday on Wednesday that he still speaks with quadruple world champion Vettel.

Ecclestone told Sport1: “Yes, we talk on the phone quite often. I listen to him and then give him my assessment of things. I also helped him get the deal with Aston Martin right.”

Convincing arguments

When asked how he helped with the Aston Martin deal, Ecclestone explained: “I really put pressure on Lance Stroll to take Sebastian. I told him how good Sebastian still is and that in the end it will be a win for everyone if the deal goes through. I think my arguments helped convince him.”

Ecclestone is not sure why Vettel is struggling so badly alongside his Ferrari team mate Charles Leclerc this year.

He said: “Leclerc is certainly a huge talent. But so is Sebastian, and he has more experience. So there must be other reasons. Ferrari has always been a somewhat opaque team where internal politics always play a big role – only in Michael Schumacher’s time did everyone pull in the same direction.

“Fortunately, Sebastian has a new challenge at Aston Martin next year. Then he will give the answer to the doubters who no longer believe in his abilities.”

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